There are plenty of things I hate about human beings, but in this story I want to focus specifically on hypocritical beliefs and actions of human beings with regards to the concept of morality. Human beliefs about morality expose 99% of human beings for the inconsistent, irrational beings they are.
‘Morality’ is supposed to be what determines things as right and wrong, good and bad. You would therefore think that the only thing that matters, when judging the worth of a person, is how moral they are, how much they stick to these supposed moral rules about right and wrong. A moral person – someone who donates money to charity, doesn’t hurt other people, is polite, and all the other stereotypically ‘good’ things – should be equivalent to a person who is judged highly by other people.
But I hardly need to state that this is not how we actually judge the worth of people. We don’t judge friends based on how ‘moral’ they are. We want to be friends with people based on how ‘cool’ they are, how funny they are, how smart they are, how good they make us feel to be around them, and so on. Most people would not want to be friends with ugly people, fat people, boring people, stupid people, etc., regardless of how moral they are. Who we want to have sex with, too, depends little on morality – people care more about good looks than morals when it comes to sexual attraction. And romantic love, what is that based on? Something mysterious and hard to pin down, but certainly not morals – otherwise we would all be in love with Gandhi and Mother Teresa.
Now, it may be possible to say that people are simply failing to live up to the ideal standards of how to judge people. You may say that people DON’T judge people based solely on their morality, but they SHOULD do. But is this really the case? Would people really accept that we should only be judged on the basis of our ‘morality’? I don’t think so, for that would entail that attributes such as ‘funny’, ‘physically fit’, ‘beautiful’, ‘intelligent’ and all the other non-moral attributes do not count as positive things at all. I don’t think anyone would want to argue that these are not positive things, or that these are not things we should strive for ourselves if we can.
So, what do I think the solution should be to this hypocrisy? There could be two solutions:
1. People could genuinely start judging people solely on their moral characteristics, and no longer care about stuff like how intelligent someone is, how good-looking someone is, how funny someone is, etc.
2. People could stop PRETENDING to judge people based on their ‘morality’, and admit that what they really care about is their non-moral characteristics.
I would strongly reject the first solution. As a moral nihilist, I do not believe that moral values have any objective existence at all. Therefore, we cannot possibly let them supersede our other, non-moral, more natural ways of judging people. It totally misunderstands human nature. So that leaves solution 2.
Solution 2 may seem to be an excuse to let people be evil and uncaring about other people, or even a justification of some sort of Nazi eugenics programme where the value of someone is based solely on how strong, intelligent etc. they are and the weak and disabled are put to death. But I would not endorse that at all. When I endorse solution 2, what I endorse is merely that people stop pretending that they are judging people based on things they are not really judging them on. I just want honesty, and an end to the hypocrisy. Yes, altruism, kindness and the other ‘moral’ values are definitely useful and they increase the amount of happiness in the world. But let’s not pretend that intelligence, charisma and such things don’t influence our judgement of people also, or that these are not things we should strive for ourselves, if we believe we can.
If we are HONEST about how we think and behave, then that makes it so much easier to try to solve the problems of life.